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July 10, 2014
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Mystery dinner


“I think it’s him,” the guy says, gesturing to a man and woman who are deep in an intense conversation. “I remember her checking her phone and looking bored when you went to the bathroom. Now she’s about to cry. Plus, I think the man keeps checking out the woman with the red shoes.”

“Hmmm. I don’t think so,” the girl says after looking the man up and down.

The waiter brings their second Jameson. “Who do you think, then?” the guy asks.

“Maybe him,” the girl says, pointing to a suave guy with slicked-back hair. “I can’t see his shoes. But he looks like the type that takes a girl into the bathroom.”

“Oh yeah?”

The suave guy laughs. The girl shakes her head. Not the right laugh.

The waiter stops by the crying couple’s table and then comes by with the check. The guy gestures for him to come closer.

“Maybe you can help me with something.”

“Shoot.”

“What’s the deal with that couple? Know anything about them?”

Without hesitation: “They come in every now and again. Poor girl. She’s upset. They’ve been fighting since the man got back from the bathroom an hour or so ago.”

Satisfaction stretches over the guy’s face. See that, he gestures to the girl. She rolls her eyes.

“Thanks for coming.”

They nod. “Have a good night.” The guy helps the girl with her coat. He holds the door for her as they walk out and she stops dead in her tracks. That laugh, she says. They turn around to see the waiter pass the woman with the red shoes a napkin. The older gentleman doesn’t notice.

“I’ll bet that’s his phone number,” the guy says as they step out onto the cold street.

“Nice one, Sherlock,” the girl says. They link arms and disappear into the night.

- Zac Stuart-Pontier